United States Coast Guard Hearing Office


Preliminary Assessment Letter Response Options

Hearing Officers do not discuss matters over the telephone or via email.


After reading the below response options, should you still have questions in how to respond to the preliminary assessment letter, you can contact the Administrative Support Staff at (202) 795-6240 or send us an email at HQS-SG-CGHO-ADMIN@USCG.MIL

If you previously received a Preliminary Inquiry Letter from the Violation Case Coordination Center (VCCC), please DO NOT respond to them, as your time to do so has expired.  Please respond as described below.

Please respond to the preliminary assessment letter by completing one of the five below options.  When responding, please carefully follow the directions for the option you choose paying particular attention to the return address.    Failure to read and comply with the directions outlined below may result in a final decision being made without your response being considered.  

IF YOU FAIL TO RESPOND WITH ONE OF THE BELOW OPTIONS WITHIN THE PRESCRIBED TIMELINE, THE PRELIMINARY PENALTY WILL BECOME FINAL.

REPRESENTATION:  At your own expense you may be represented at all stages by counsel.  If we are notified that you are represented, all further correspondence concerning the case will be directed to your representative.

SMALL BUSINESS: The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 requires Hearing Officers to consider that you may be a small entity and, under some circumstances, reduce or waive the civil penalty. “Small entity” is defined in 5 U. S. C. § 601, 15 U. S. C. § 632 and in the Small Business Administration regulations found at 13 C. F. R. Part 121. If you think your company may be a small entity, you may provide the Hearing Officer with supporting evidence (number of employees, current balance sheet, annual receipts). To qualify for a waiver or reduction, you must also show that you have spent money to correct any discrepancies. Small entities that have been the subject of multiple enforcement actions, have committed violations involving willful or criminal conduct, or have committed violations that pose serious health, safety or environmental threats are not entitled to special consideration.

Toll Free: 1-866-801-6178     |      Phone: 202-795-6240     |     Fax: 202-372-8422